Just two weeks ago, Fur Coat launched their Oddity imprint aimed towards a darker, tripped-out Techno.
The label launched with ‘Genesis,’ a four tracker that also features an exclusive remix from Glasgow’s Slam. The label has already received prominent support from the likes of Tale of Us and Mind Against, while its vinyl-only ‘Sustain’ has been a worldwide dancefloor bomb since its introudtcion.
Here, we got Fur Coat (bold) and Slam (italic) together to go “In Conversation” on their relationship, the release, and all things Techno!
“Leaning more towards techno, that can be mental and melodic, without forgetting on the groove.”
Fur Coat: Hi guys! We are so happy to have you on board on our project Oddity. I think the first time we met was at the lobby of the Cosmo hotel in Berlin. We were having breakfast after our Watergate gig, and you guys were having breakfast before Berghain 🙂 As traveling artists we’re able to sample all different types of cuisines across the globe, what is your go to choice in food before or after a show?
Slam: We thank you for inviting us to be part of this project. Yes we had spoken on emails – but meeting in Berlin was so strange. Traveling a lot does expose you to many different types of cuisine – but our choice of food before a gig is “steak” (I’m afraid ) – we’ve been told it’s steaks slow release properties that keeps you fuller for longer. We try not to eat after after shows – but from time to time we fall foul of “fast food” Japanese is our favourite national food – especially their take on Korean Barbecue – mmmmmmm !!
Slam: You guys have a real “sound” to your productions. Have you always had this or was there a point when you though “this is us”.
Fur Coat: We have been evolving our sound naturally. There was a turning point from our track “U turn”. It definitely marks a milestone in our music production, which we been developing and constantly experimenting within the studio. Leaning more towards techno, that can be mental and melodic, without forgetting on the groove. We always try to experiment new things and look for this constant evolution. It’s all about expressing ourselves from our roots and early influences of electronic music to what we listen and play nowadays. We always aim for our music to be playable and fit in our sets. We have also been experimenting with not only forward oriented music which we will possibly showcase in some point as the label progresses.
Fur Coat: So we both are duos, you guys have more time together than us, and also got involved in Soma (your label) together. How´s the duo life? What are the pros and cons in it?
Slam: Yes, we have been together for a long time – there’s actually 3 of us in Slam , a trio – our partner Dave Clarke ( not the DJ ) is the 3rd member and our club promoter / manager back in Glasgow – and we’ve all been together since the start. We all afford each other a lot of personal family time and time away is very important. Not sure we’d still be around if we weren’t a duo. There really are very few ( if any ) “cons” to be honest – we don’t even fall out and rarely disagree. The “pros” of a DJ duo are numerous – from the traveling with a friend all the time, the sharing and swapping of responsibilities, the communal discussion of all decisions and the endless chats about music and studio projects . The fun derived from performing with each other – never knowing what the other is going to play – keeps things endlessly fresh. The “pros” are endless we feel.
Slam: How do you guys find being part of a duo?
Fur Coat: Well, Israel and i already know each other for more than a decade and now we have been working as Fur Coat for 7 years already, wow times flies! Now we are working on this new project on our careers that is our label Oddity. It’s good to have a partner especially when we are touring. Off course we see each other more than any other person in our lives as nowadays we spend a lot of time together in the studio and traveling. This is like any relationship. You have your good and bad days. Sometime we are joking or venturing in a place around the world, shopping, trying a new restaurant or having some drinks with some friends we have around the world. Some other times we are both with lack of sleep, tired and moody, so this can be times of silence and just wanting to get back home, probably having some time of your own. It’s the closest relationship we can compare of having a brother!.
Fur Coat: So we are entering this new venture of running a label. You guys have 25 years of experience doing it, totally a milestone you should be proud and happy about. What are your advices when running a label and the key to longevity?
Slam: Soma has been celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with multiple sets of great remixes and a limited triple vinyl box set of original tracks from many of our peers which has been a great project. The main things we’ve learnt over the years are, primarily, to stay true to your vision and musical integrity – don’t look at what others are doing – “stay true” and never let commerciality guide or influence your decisions. Don’t be scared to change or take chances and don’t be scared of making mistakes , they’re the best way to learn. Electronic Music in it’s very essences is about looking over the “brow of the hill’ and embracing the future – always surprise and push the envelope.
Fur Coat: Do you ever guys disagree when deciding on artist or tracks to sign? One of you likes it and the other don’t? How do you mediate?
Slam: There has always usually been 5 or 6 people involved in the Soma A&R decisions – so it’s always a communal call on the labels release schedule. Yes we all disagree on music, music is so subjective it’s not a science – but that’s what makes the whole process of decision making so strong. No we don’t meditate – usually too busy working or sleeping
Slam: Do you guys have any things you do to help cope with life in the “boogie business” – mediation, yoga, running, exercise classes, drinking and partying?
Fur Coat: Yes, we do. We both try to live a very normal life during the week. We try to sleep well and exercise. Israel likes gym and paddle, I (Sergio) go 4 times a week to train on kettle bells, its kind of like a cross fit but mostly using russian weights. Think this also keeps us balanced and healthy from all the life on the road, eating out from home and the lack of sleep during weekends. When we rarely have a free weekend at home, we also party and get some drinks. We try to take advantage of Barcelona, getting to know new spots for food, bars and try to say hi to friends that play in town.
Fur Coat: Has your musical direction of Soma evolved since its beginnings?
Slam: I think all labels move around musically, especially if they enjoy longevity. But Soma has always stayed true to it’s founding principles which we have eluded to above and especially to release forward thinking music regardless of commercial considerations and constraints. Electronic music has developed and exploded in to so many genres and sub genres. Electronica should be constantly changing and evolving
Slam: Do you guys think the amount of dance music being released digitally is a good or bad thing ?
Fur Coat: It certainly can be a bad thing. If you are a label releasing with no filter and you focus only on digital just thinking about high profits, this could definitely saturate the market and a lot of music just passes by without having attention. But there is the other side. Digital releases are definitely a platform that makes music reach huge amounts people in more countries. The thing is to handle with care. It is true not all labels and music have to be focused on the vinyl market, so releasing digital is fair for many that have other focus. We think it’s just about releasing the right thing, making sure the right artists, promotion and taking the time to make it right. Each label has it’s formula, but the most important thing is to put out quality music from our point of view. Quality over quantity!.
Fur Coat: In 25 five years coming up with visual content for the vinyls and artworks must be a lot of work. You have to reinvent always to keep it fresh. How do you do it? Do you think in anything special when it comes to artworks? Does changes on the logo or image is something that you feel comes with a certain time, or time calls you need to freshen up to have a new air?
Slam: We think artwork is very important, it’s often the first thing a listener is presented with before even hearing the musical offering and quite often we can almost tell the type of music the label / release will offer just from the style of artwork. Over the years we’ve involved lots of different local and international artists in the labels artwork projects – even involving the world famous Glasgow Art School graduates We’re always looking for something fresh and innovative for our centre spins and sleeves – as with our music , DJ sets and Soma’s releases
“Genesis” is NOW AVAILABLE on Oddity. BUY